We had a great weekend--I hope you did too.
Joal worked part of Friday and came home early.
Saturday morning Joal attended the funeral of Maria Chapman and while that's certainly not the way anyone ever wants to spend a holiday weekend, it was, from all accounts, a wonderful, beautiful celebration of her life. He came home so deeply moved and what he shared with me was so redemptive and loving. I am so constantly amazed by the power of God's grace--there just aren't words.
Later on Saturday we had some friends over for a traditional cookout. Six adults and six children (and 2 babies on the way) in addition to the 4 of us...it was quite the adventure.
The menu consisted of:
Grilled Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, with all the appropriate trimmings
Grilled Herbed Vegetables--Potatoes, Squash, Onion, and Zucchini
Fresh Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Shells and Cheese
Fruit and Spinach Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing (made by one of our friends)
And for dessert, another friend made a banana pudding that was not only beautiful but also delicious! (I'm thinking we should make Banana Pudding Lance's standing contribution to all future gatherings!)
It's possible I am pickier than most people about entertaining at our house. See, I was raised by a woman who truly demonstrated the gift of hospitality to so many people all throughout my life and she taught me well. It's a big deal to me to put together a gathering. I plan and plot to make things just so. I make lists. Honestly, it's exhausting but I do so enjoy it. It means a great deal to me...maybe because we don't live close enough to our family to get together with them very often and I miss that. Friends are an important part of our circle (especially these particular ones) and I am renewed by being with them.
We ate together, and we played together. The children who range in age from 12 (Julian) down to about 16 months get along remarkably well. They enjoyed lots of bubble-blowing, chalking on the patio and throwing around the balls. I took a ton of pictures with the new camera and got some great shots. We had a time of singing, with Joal playing the guitar.
It was a great afternoon shared with our favorite people.
The rest of our favorite people will be coming over on Wednesday evening and we will do it all again.
Yesterday, I picked up my cruise pictures from the printer. All 320 of them! I've had a horrible time finding a new photo lab...I finally just paid the extra $$ and went to the local Wolf Camera. Prints cost more there but the quality is absolutely superb and far better than anything else I've tried.
Last night Joal and I watched a movie--Dan in Real Life. It was good...funny. Sweet. Steve Carell has a similar dry acting wit as Billy Crystal from the days of When Harry Met Sally. My only objection to this movie was that the main character's teenage daughter was allowed to be a complete yutz towards her father...more than we necessary. I would have smacked her. But in the interest of a good movie, we'll suspend the need to be a parent for a bit. Ya'll know that I n-e-v-e-r recommend movies because it inevitably gets me into trouble with someone...but I liked this movie. That's all I'm saying.
And surprisingly enough, Joal was the one who picked it. His movie-selection-credentials had previously been on the verge of being revoked due to severely lack-lustre choices he's made recently...but I'm thinking he may have been redeemed with this one. Or at least gotten on the road to recovery, although I'm pretty sure I'll never completely get over his choosing of Pursuit of Happyness. :)
So now you know.
PS I did get my space cleaned and organized. It's so nice to work in it right now. :)